Hanoi Holidays

GENERAL

One of the most interesting cities in Asia

This is a small capital city which is easy to explore, and you'll find evidence of all those years of history scattered among grand French colonial homes, as well as shrines to Vietnam's first president Ho Chi Minh overshadowed by modern skyscrapers.

On a Hanoi holiday with The Co-operative Travel, you'll discover a surprisingly unassuming capital city, one which is far less developed than its South Vietnamese counterpart, Ho Chi Minh City.

Hanoi's tourist trade is still in its infancy, having only really taken off in 1993, and bringing with it such western trappings as hotels, travellers' hostels and internet cafes, as well as western-style food and fashions.

Take a package holiday or all-inclusive holiday in Hanoi, and you'll enjoy a sedate, cultured city which is one of the most interesting in Asia. If you take an early morning stroll by Hoan Kiem Lake, you'll encounter groups of city elders gracefully performing their tai chi exercises in brightly-coloured tracksuits, looking for all the world like moving statues.

The pace soon picks up on the streets though, as bicycles and mopeds weave through the crowded streets, and cyclos (three-wheeled taxis) compete for trade.

Many of the temples, pagodas and monuments in the city's old quarter have been smartened up for the 1,000th birthday celebrations, which are being marked under the twin banners of 'Hero Capital' and 'City of Peace'.

A wide range of accommodation available in Hanoi

An essential excursion on a Hanoi holiday is a trip on a junk around Halong Bay, picked out by many visitors as a highlight of their trip for the sight of the amazing limestone karsts which poke out of the rock and the serene experience of anchoring off the bay to spend a truly relaxing night.

Traditional water puppet shows and performances of music and dance are common evening diversions, while pubs and bars abound, ranging from the quiet to the full-on party atmosphere which backpackers and younger travelers expect.

Hanoi's cuisine is very well regarded and you'll find few pretensions. A meal from one of the street food vendors - whose locations vary from day to day - is a great way to eat on the move, but there are also many restaurants with balconies overlooking the busy streets, which offer authentic cuisine at very reasonable prices.

Your choice of accommodation on a Hanoi holiday is huge, and ranges from the basic hostels to the complete five-star experience, with new hotels still opening on a regular basis.

Why not expand your horizons and look for a last-minute holiday or late deal from The Co-operative Travel? Check for availability for your preferred dates today, and look forward to discovering a truly up-and-coming destination.

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